Pilipinx/Filipino Storytelling Livestream Series
AGI-AGI, funded generously by Qu’ART, an Ottawa-based arts collective, was a livestream series on Facebook that updated every Monday at 5pm EST from April 20 – May 25, 2020, of Filipino myths, legends, epics, and folktales from my English language collection (mostly the Philippine Folk Literature Series by Damiana Ligon Eugenio published by the University of the Philippines Press).
It was also a fundraiser, in part for reparations, and in part to support the work of people and organizations that were doing a lot of emergency support and behind-the-scenes work during those times. While I was reviewing all of the material, because of internalized colonization and oppression, there was a lot of Islamophobia, anti-Blackness, and anti-indigenous sentiments (and some sexism and homophobia/transphobia too) in the stories. When I read or re-told these stories, I took out those things because I want the next generation of Filipinos to grow up anti-oppressive and loving, working to be accomplices and spreading lateral kindness and liberation. I also wanted to use this opportunity to acknowledge and make reparations regarding the bigotry and oppression Filipino communities have also enacted on each other and other communities.
We raised $250 CAD collectively, and sent $50 each to the following organizations and people I received permission to name as recipients:
- Salaam Canada. This is an organization “dedicated to creating space for people who identify as both Muslim and queer and trans”. They also raise emergency funds and gather support for queer/trans Muslims that are being persecuted by family or institutions.
- Black Lives Matter – Toronto. This is an organization that aims “to forge critical connections and to work in solidarity with black communities, black-centric networks, solidarity movements, and allies in order to to dismantle all forms of state-sanctioned oppression, violence, and brutality committed against African, Caribbean, and Black cis, queer, trans, and disabled populations in Toronto”. They have a Freedom School for Black children and also a COVID-19 Emergency Fund for Black families in the Greater Toronto Area.
- Lynn Gehl, Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe. “Lynn Gehl, PhD, is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe. She is a writer and artist. Her 2014 book based on her doctoral work “The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process” was published with Fernwood Publishing. Her 2017 book, titled “Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit”, explores her journey deeper into Indigenous knowledge and was published with the University of Regina Press.” I have had the privilege to witness Dr. Gehl’s keynote addresses and workshops. Like many of us, her income is impacted by the current pandemic, and I want to support her work. The land this storytelling series took place on is Algonquin land, unceded, unsurrendered, and stolen by the Canadian settler government. I wouldn’t have known half of what I know in support of the Indigenous peoples, and specifically those of Algonquin territory, without Dr. Gehl’s work.
Free The Falls. This is a local group supporting Algonquin people in reclaiming their sacred waterfalls Akikodjiwan from the theft of Canadian settlers.
- The money also went to indigenous peoples in the Philippines, specifically to the Manobo tribe that has been displaced from their home at the foot of Mount Apo due to earthquakes and landslides, and has been living in tents since October 2019. These funds will go to building new homes and a community food garden for their people.
Transcripts for each of the videos are forthcoming and available upon request.
Episode 1: – Creation/Paglikha/Paglalang (Kawayan/Bamboo & Niyog/Coconut)
Episode 2: Honour/Dangal (Rice/Palay & Garlic/Baway)
Episode 3: Magayon/Beauty & Honour/Dangal (Kalayo/Apoy/Fire)
Episode 4: Ibalong (Bikol Folk Epic on Honour/Dangal)
Episode 5: Nature/Kalikasan/Linalang (Kapre, Tikbalang, Duwende, and Engkantao)
Episode 6: Kapwa/Community (Aswang)
Episode 7: Ninuno/Gugurang/Umalagad/Ancestors (The Dead)